HCBS Stakeholder Waiver and Planning Team

The Stakeholder Planning Team (SPT) assists the Department of Human Services in directing system-wide changes to better serve persons in need of home and community-based services and supports.

The team consists of people with disabilities, consumers, parents, advocates, providers, and county government reps, appointed by the Secretary of Human Services. The Administration looks to this team for advice regarding, and help in planning, DHS funded home and community-based activities. The SPT meets six times each year: they first met in February 2002. Members are appointed to three-year terms.

Important achievements of the SPT include: 

  • Assisted the Department of Human Services to revise and refocus the Real Choice Systems Change Grant application submitted to CMS in 2002. The Department received the $1.38 million federal grant award in September 2002. The grant will be used to develop better methods to manage the overall system in support of community living, develop a system of access to HCBS services and supports for people of all ages and disabilities, and to develop expertise and capacity to effectively serve individuals across the broad spectrum of disabilities and long-term illnesses.
  • Created and presented Recommendations to the Governor's Administration, a transition document on home and community-based services in Pennsylvania It provides "a picture of obstacles faced, a model of what can be achieved when we work together, and a blueprint for a new way forward."
  • Developed and presented a "Home and Community-Based Services Stakeholder Planning Team (SPT) Strategic Plan for July 2004 through December 2006." The plan represents a cross-disability and cross-age approach to improving home and community-based services. The plan is intended to lead to development of an administrative work plan to implement its recommendations, and to move in the direction of coordinated, seamless services that meet the needs of all citizens regardless of disability or age.

Purpose Document

The Stakeholder Planning Team (SPT) is a committee made up of people with many different disabilities and their advocates created to advise the Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS) on program and policy issues in order to identify gaps, barriers and quality issues that exist in DHS' current home and community-based programs and propose alternative structures, services and supports which: 

  • End the institutional bias;
  • Assure the provision of needed community supports based on functional need regardless of the type of disability or age; and
  • Promote real integration of persons with disabilities into their communities.


  • The SPT will accept assignments designed to coordinate Department efforts at implementing changes necessary for coordinated, seamless, quality services that meet the needs of all citizens regardless of disability or age.
  • The SPT will monitor implementation of previous planning efforts and help the Department coordinate efforts at implementing changes necessary to serve persons with complex, cross-system needs, multiple diagnoses or persons without access to services and supports for living in the most integrated setting.
  • The SPT will actively work, in conjunction with other internal and external groups, to support the reform activities occurring within the administration, helping to develop a system of quality monitoring and evaluation of home and community-based services.
  • The SPT will be cross-disability and strive to reflect the diverse nature of the Commonwealth with regards to race and geographic representation.

Guiding Principles 

  • The experience and expertise of people with disabilities and their families will be used in the development and ongoing oversight of the system
  • Persons in need of community supports will have maximum control in selecting, managing and terminating relationships with direct service providers
  • Persons in need of community supports will receive home and community services that are of high quality, are accessible, timely, affordable, reliable, diverse and culturally competent, and are integrated as defined by the individual and/or their advocate, and
  • Community supports will be structured to ensure a seamless transition from one service to another, providing continuity throughout each individual's life span.